Weekends are a blank canvas. Rare opportunities where you have hours to do as you please.
Weekends and holidays are a crucial part of a trader’s development. Days off from the market provide a break from the hectic style and are an important time for reflection and improvement. Trading is stressful even when you’re winning. Weekends are the time to relax, reflect, and recharge.
Many traders know they should be working and studying on the weekends and when the market is closed. But many don’t know HOW to study correctly to get the most out of their time. Here are the best ways to improve your trading when the market is closed:
Journal Your Trades
Studying your trades is not optional if you want to become a consistently profitable trader. No one else can do the work for you. What isn’t measured, cannot be improved. In your trading journal, this is the bare minimum you should be tracking:
- Setup taken
- Trade thesis
- Trade Risk
- Entry Price
- Exit Price
- Trade outcome
Trader Sync software helps a ton with journaling. You can upload all of your trades as a .csv and they will automatically show your chart executions for you to learn from.
Figure out what you’re doing right, and figure out how to replicate it. Study what is not working, and figure out how to eliminate it.
Refine Your Strategy
When you review your trades, you should be looking for ways to refine your trading strategy to decrease the size of your losers and increase the size of your winners and improve your accuracy on your trading. All trading strategies can become more refined.
For example, when you review your trades, you see that you lose 80% of the time when you long small-cap stocks mid-day. To refine, you stop trading small caps on weekends.
Simple and obvious right? But so few traders actually take the time to look at their trades and see these patterns.
Simple refinements like this to your trading strategy can a BIG impact on your PNL by the end of the year.
We are a broken record. But every successful trader I know studies hundreds, probably thousands, of stock charts every single day. Studying charts helps build muscle memory for winning patterns. A trader studying charts is like a professional athlete practicing their craft. When you study charts, you start by looking at the biggest movers from the past week:
-See what their catalyst was
-What pattern ignited the move,
-What their daily chart looked like
-What their intraday chart looked like
Start building your watch list. Become familiar with big movers so you can capitalize when they set up again.
Study Other Great Traders
You should constantly be learning new tips and tricks from other traders, no matter how experienced you are. Reading trading books is an easy and cheap way to study and expand your trading knowledge. Watch YouTube videos. Watch courses. It can take just one small insight or idea to turn a struggling trader into a profitable one.
Take A Break
I know a lot of traders that work way too hard. Burn out can cost you big. There are diminishing returns of working hard after a certain point. Find some balance.
You will be amazed by how much your performance will improve by getting away from the markets completely after a long week of trading and studying. There is nothing wrong with taking the weekend off.
Giving your brain some time to unwind and recharge can immensely improve your performance for next week. Many traders after a busy few months take 1-2 weeks off completely from the markets.
Don’t be afraid to step away. The market isn’t going where, and there ALWAYS be another opportunity.